Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A History of the Falmouth Road Race: Running Cape Cod by Paul Clerici: Changing the course?

(On July 6, 2015, the first-ever book entirely about the Falmouth Road Race will be published. Entitled “History of the Falmouth Road Race, Running Cape Cod ,” it is written by Massachusetts runner and writer Paul C. Clerici, author of “Boston Marathon History by the Mile” and “History of the Greater Boston Track Club.” In a series for Recover Your Stride, he has provided some anecdotes, tales, and tidbits that will run here on a regular basis leading up to the 43rd edition of the Falmouth Road Race on August 16.)

Paul C. Clerici: The course of the Falmouth Road Race has remained relatively unchanged since its inception in 1973, save for a few adjustments at the start and the finish. It was Tommy Leonard who decided the course would take runners from the Captain Kidd in Woods Hole to where he bartended at the Brothers 4 in Falmouth Heights, a pub-to-pub run not uncommon in Boston where he also tended bar at the Eliot Lounge. While unheard of now, in the early years there were several suggestions (primarily by non-fans of the race) to move the course. Some of the ideas included having it finish at Guv Fuller Field, and one even provided detailed plans for it to start and finish in Falmouth Center!

Gov. Fuller Field is the ballfield behind the Falmouth Recreation Building on Main Street.
 Here are some photos from along the Falmouth Road Race course (mostly early '80s).

 I met Paul last year and was thrilled to find out that he was writing a book on the history of The Falmouth Road Race. This is the one of many tidbits from the race that he will be providing my blog in anticipation of its publication in July. If you are like me and enjoy reading background information and hearing the history of the great runners and races from the "running boom" years, you might want to do a few things in anticipation of reading Paul's upcoming book.

My blog has a lot of photos and information on the early days of the Falmouth Road Race. The first year that I ran was the historic 1975 race. You can read about it here. Kings of the Road: How Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers, and Alberto Salazar Made Running Go Boom by Cameron Stracher tells about the runners and the races that made the "running boom" and the 1975 Falmouth Road Race plays a pivotal role. You can read my review here. Paul has written other books on running including Boston Marathon History by the Mile and History of the Greater Boston Track Club I am very much looking forward to reading Paul's new book on The Falmouth Road Race.

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